Life's too short to eat bad food - Me

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic - Arthur C. Clarke

Monday, March 31, 2008

Local Gems II

This past weekend was the annual Maple Weekend in New York State, always a great family event. While most people think of Vermont (or Quebec) when they think of Maple Syrup, New York is the third largest producer in the US. The focal point of syrup production is Wyoming County, but there are some very good (and friendly) ones here in Erie County.

We started our day at Maple Glen Sugar House. It was our second visit there. The first time we visited, we had screwed up the date for Maple Weekend, but ended up getting a very personal tour. They did a good job with the crowds, but we really liked the personal touch. I think we'd like to take them up on a private tour again, though we did score the last quart of Grade B they had for sale - we prefer it, especially for cooking.

Our next stop was Kist Maple Syrup in Colden. Another warm welcome, and a promise that with a call, we can score some more Grade B in the off season. Good people to know!

The last stop was one of the newer Sugar Shacks - the Smith Maple Farm in Hamburg. Carl and Bridget were great hosts, with great humor, and their farm is on the site of the famous 1824 murder of John Love. They also brew a very light, tasty Grade A syrup. The girls declared it YUM!

Having finished the tour, we treated ourselves to a meal worth repeating at the Coyote Cafe in Hamburg. On our way out of town, we stumbled upon a gem: The Crazy4Bookz store on Main Street. What a great find for lovers of used books - especially used cookbooks. Hey, I scored a first edition of The French Menu Cookbook by Richard Olney.

What a great day.

PS. Maple syrup is great on cornbread, and think a maple-chipotle glaze for ribs . . .

In the photo above: Maple sugar for home-made bacon, Grade A Light Amber, Grade A Medium Amber, Grade B.

Below, My toothless wonders, and some shots of various syrup making processes.

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Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
- Arthur C. Clarke

Life's too short to eat bad food -